The City of Santa Fe is celebrating Fix-a-Leak Week from March 20 through 26. This annual national awareness week helps us conserve water, a precious and essential resource, by remembering to check homes and businesses for leaks and fixing them quickly. Unchecked leaks in a faucet, pipe or appliance can waste gallons of water and generate a costly water bill. Without regular checks and maintenance, just one household with leaks can waste nearly 10,000 gallons of water every year – the equivalent of 270 loads of laundry!
The City helps households and businesses fix leaks through its Waterwise Business certification program and by signing up households for the EyeOnWater program to monitor leaks in real time. We also have dye tablets for checking leaks, and free toilet flappers, both of which are available at the Water Conservation Office. Here’s a quick list of other steps you can take during Fix-a-Leak Week to save water!
• Fix leaky faucets by checking washers and gaskets for wear and replacing them. Prevent shower-head leaks by using pipe tape and a wrench for a tight fit. When replacing a faucet or shower head, always look for the EPA WaterSense label.
• Old toilet flappers often cause leaks when the rubber decays or becomes covered in mineral deposits. Replacing the flapper is an easy and inexpensive do-it-yourself project that pays for itself.
• If you need to replace a toilet, look for a WaterSense model and visit SaveWaterSantaFe (savewatersantafe.com) to see if you qualify for a rebate. Replacing inefficient toilets with WaterSense models can save 13,000 gallons of water per year, and close to $2,400 in water and wastewater bills over the life of the toilets.
• Examine irrigation systems for damage from frost and freezing each spring and check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If the hose leaks while you run it, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
Business owners are encouraged to participate in the City’s Waterwise certification program. Waterwise certified businesses have saved over 8 million gallons of water since the program’s inception in 2018, and certified businesses have seen how saving water helps their bottom line. Currently, there are 71 restaurants, five hotels, 19 small businesses, one shopping center (housing 41 businesses) and one museum that are Waterwise-certified. Businesses that sign up for the program receive a free water use assessment, including leak checks, aerator replacements for faucets and other devices and a comprehensive report with recommendations for potential equipment and behavioral changes to save water.
Visit savewatersantafe.com/waterwise-business/ and join the growing number of Santa Fe businesses commit-ted to reducing their water footprint!